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Publication Detail
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Developmental Milestones and Movement: Results From the Gemini Cohort Study.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Smith L, van Jaarsveld CHM, Llewellyn CH, Fildes A, López Sánchez GF, Wardle J, Fisher A
  • Publication date:
    19/10/2017
  • Pagination:
    1, 7
  • Journal:
    Research quarterly for exercise and sport
  • Medium:
    Print-Electronic
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    0270-1367
  • Language:
    eng
  • Addresses:
    a Anglia Ruskin University.
Abstract
Variability in the timing of infant developmental milestones is poorly understood. We used a twin analysis to estimate genetic and environmental influences on motor development and activity levels in infancy.Data were from the Gemini Study, a twin birth cohort of 2,402 families with twins born in the United Kingdom in 2007. Parents reported motor activity level for each of the twins at age 3 months using the Revised Infant Behavior Rating Scale and reported the ages at which they first sat unsupported, crawled, and walked unaided.Activity level at 3 months and ages when first sitting and crawling were about equally influenced by the shared family environment (45%-54%) and genes (45%-48%). Genetic influences dominated for age when children took their first independent steps (84%).Aspects of the shared family environment appear to be important influences on motor activity levels and early milestones, although the timing of walking may have a stronger genetic influence. Further research to identify the specific environmental and genetic factors that promote early activity may be important for longer-term health outcomes.
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